Work comp insurance should be something standard in all employers. No one wants to suffer an injury, especially in their workplace. Also, it could be quite costly to recover from an injury, physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. Even if you were entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits from your employer, recovery will still not be an easy feat if you suffered severe injuries. But what happens when you cannot even get work comp benefits?
Undoubtedly, the suffering would be worse as you have no safety net to turn to. When an Atlanta employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance, it is against Georgia law. Unfortunately, very few people know that the law mandates their employers to carry workers’ comp insurance, and it is their right to receive benefits.
This article looks at what happens when an employer lacks this all-important insurance coverage. We’ll also examine if there are legal repercussions for not having workers’ compensation. If you suffer a work-related injury, contact our Atlanta workers’ comp lawyers to learn of your eligibility to receive compensation.
Who Should Have Workers’ Comp Insurance Under Georgia Law?
Under the work comp laws of Georgia, any business that regularly employs three or more persons must have workers’ compensation insurance. “Regular employees” refer to people that work at a business daily and are employed full time. It extends to part-time workers also, regardless of the amount of their average weekly wage.
If a business is incorporated, the law considers the corporate officers as employees. However, up to five corporate officers can decide to waive work comp coverage on themselves. It means that if they suffer an on-the-job injury or illness, workers’ compensation insurance will not pay for their medical treatment and wages while away from work. But they will count to be a business that employs three or more people.
While businesses with less than three regular workers are exempted, they should buy coverage all the same. Work comp insurance is not as expensive as many employers think. The policy depends on the number of employees a business has. Hence, an employer can buy for their number of workers and nothing more.
What Happens If Your Employer Lacks Workers’ Compensation?
Although Georgia law mandates Atlanta employers to have workers’ comp coverage, not every employer obeys this rule. So, what do you do if your employer defaults and lacks workers’ compensation insurance? The first thing to do is contact a workers’ compensation lawyer in Atlanta.
The attorneys will first ensure you have a valid claim and then write a demand letter to your employer. If your employer fails to give a favorable response, the lawyer can then go ahead to commence a personal injury lawsuit. If the lawsuit is successful, you will receive economic and non-economic damages for your loss.
There’s another option to the above. First, suppose your employer fails to pay you workers’ comp benefits. In that case, you should check with the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation whether the business has workers’ compensation insurance coverage. If they don’t have one and refuse to buy, then report them to the Board’s enforcement division.
The Board will then investigate the case and determine whether to penalize your employer. While filing a claim with the Board, you should also get a lawyer involved. The attorney will follow up the process and ensure your rights are protected.
What Penalty Will an Employer Face for Not Having Workers’ Comp?
As mentioned earlier, the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation investigates work comp violations. If they determine there’s non-compliance, the employer will likely face the following:
If an employer does not have the required coverage, the employer will compensate the employee for any injury and lost wages in the way they would have if they have existing workers’ compensation coverage.
An employer who violates workers’ comp regulations could face a penalty between $100 and $1,000 per violation. If the employer makes a false statement to the Board, they could pay a $1,000 to $10,000 fine per violation. If they failed to provide the required insurance coverage, they could pay $500 to $5,000 per violation.
An employer who refuses or willfully neglects to maintain insurance coverage could be found guilty of a misdemeanor charge. If convicted, the employer would pay a fine of $1,000 to $10,000 or 1-year imprisonment.
Contact Our Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Now!
If you suffered a work-related injury or illness, our workers’ comp attorneys are the best legal professionals to help you get maximum compensation. It doesn’t matter if your employer lacks coverage; we’ll still get you the benefits you deserve. So, contact us today for a free initial consultation.